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What is a Wage Assignment?

A “wage assignment” is now required for the payment of child support, and in some cases, for the payment of spousal maintenance (alimony). An assignment requires an employer or other payor (either a person or company) of a parent who is obligated by court order to pay a certain amount of child support each month to withhold that amount from the wages or money owed to the parent (employee) and to send that amount directly to the clearinghouse. This type of assignment applies to salary, wages, commissions and any type of payments received by the parent ordered to pay support. Either the person required to pay support or the person entitled to receive it can request an assignment order (A.R.S. 25-323 and 12-2454).

How is Child Support Paid?

Child support must be paid in money–not in clothing or gifts. It must be paid through the clearinghouse in the state of Arizona if there is a court order for support. In Arizona, most child support payments are made through the “clearinghouse” and, if possible, through wage assignment. If a parent is ordered to make child support payments through the clearinghouse, that parent shall send the payment to the clearinghouse directly, not to the other parent. The clearinghouse keeps track of all payments. If you have been ordered to make payments through the clearinghouse and you make payments directly to the other parent, those direct payments may be considered as gifts to the other parent. If that is the case, you will not be given credit that you paid child support that month and may be required to pay again to the clearinghouse.

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